The Man I Once Was

by Stewart Eastham

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1.
Babe, you gotta let it go And these hard times won’t last Babe, you gotta let it go There’s a new day dawnin’ Babe, you gotta let it go Let the past lie in the past Babe, you gotta let it go We’re just two people lying here in each other’s arms Gotta let it go There’s a north wind blowin’, outside it’s snowin’ Pure as a child’s soul So release your burden, I know for certain Girl, you can come back home You gotta breathe in, so you can breathe out Get quiet, so you can get loud Gotta walk away, not a thing to say It ain’t your cross to bear No need to criticize, just live your life I know you got love to spare And when the party’s over, it’s time to celebrate Put your heart together so you can let it break Babe, you gotta let it go And these hard times won’t last Babe, you gotta let it go There’s a new day dawnin’ Babe, you gotta let it go Let the past lie in the past Babe, you gotta let it go We’re just two people lying here in each other’s arms Gotta let it go The only rules are the ones we choose It’s time to simplify Shed your circumstance for another chance Only you can decide Take your clothes off and put your new dress on Keep on dancin’ when the music’s gone Babe, you gotta let it go And these hard times won’t last Babe, you gotta let it go There’s a new day dawnin’ Babe, you gotta let it go Let the past lie in the past Babe, you gotta let it go We’re just two people lying here in each other’s arms Gotta let it go
2.
I was born in California The northern territory’s where I’m from I was raised in the country But the city is where I make my home I wash my hands in the Feather River Feel its cool, cool water on my face And the “O” on Table Mountain Is like a beacon calling me back to this place The foothills and the gold mines They map out the story of my youth Till I rambled on down I-5 Seeking out my own kind of truth I was born in California Butte County is where it is I’m from I was raised in the country But the city is where I make my home I spent some years in Hollywoodland They all thought I was a hillbilly son But when I’d go back to my hometown They all thought I was as city as they come So I travelled as a troubadour Put my heart out on the line for a song Till I had that old heart broken Don’t seem a place left where I belong I was born in California The northern territory’s where I’m from I was raised in the country But the city is where I make my home You won’t catch me fightin’ My only weapon’s a paper and a pen Spinnin’ yarns of disenchantment For all of us that don’t quite fit in Here on the bank of the Tennessee River I ain’t seen the Golden State in so long So I take another pull of whiskey And write out the last line of this song I was born in California Butte County is where it is I’m from I was raised in the country But the city is where I make my home
3.
I’ve seen you here in this bar for a while now And like me, you’re always alone Tonight I think I’m finally drunk enough to say hello I heard you made some dirty movies With a crazy fool from around the way But I ain’t one to judge, girl, who am I to say It’s a crazy old world custom made for a little girl Just like you Drivin’ them East County backroads There’s a magic cannot be denied Feels like it’s only you and me, girl, flyin’ through the night Remember that cantina down in Rosarito On a pool table we had our fun That is until you socked that old gaucho and it was time to run It’s a crazy old world custom made for a little girl Just like you I heard you died the same way you lived Fast, loud, and out of control But I don’t care what they say, girl, you had a heart of gold Just wanna let you know I’m still livin’ the dream Still out here fightin’ the good fight Maybe one day I’ll come and find you on the other side It’s a crazy old world custom made for a little girl Just like you
4.
The first night I tasted her sweet kiss I swore I’d never be remiss Said we’d be together until the oceans dry Hyperbole right by our side Here we go again, same old places that we’ve been This one’s for the broken hearted lovers Who tried to make it work, but it all fell apart The tears we shed they were for nothing And we’re left all alone with our broken hearts How many times did we decide that we were through Then try again even though we knew Told the same old lies about how we’d be fine And ride the cycle one more time So desperate and distraught that we couldn‘t pull it off This one’s for the broken hearted lovers Who tried to make it work, but it all fell apart The tears we shed they were for nothing And we’re left all alone with our broken hearts They always told us that love conquers all Conquered us like a wrecking ball It kept us carrying on in a war we could not win Twisted beyond recognition Been fighting for so long for a thing that’s so far gone This one’s for the broken hearted lovers Who tried to make it work, but it all fell apart The tears we shed they were for nothing And we’re left all alone with our broken hearts
5.
In the morning, she doesn’t kiss me like you did In the evening, she doesn’t touch me like you did So tired of being alone These days just go on and on On and on So I found someone new and I heard that you did too Looks like we both made it through I found someone new and she’s nothing like you She ain’t a thing like you She’s just someone new When I’m feeling cold, she doesn’t warm me like you did When I’m feeling low, she doesn’t hold me like you did But she seems to treat me alright On these long and lonesome nights Lonesome nights Yeah, I found someone new and I heard that you did too Looks like we both made it through I found someone new and she’s nothing like you She ain’t a thing like you She’s just someone new Funny how this time of year always reminds me of you And I know I’m not supposed to say it, oh, but it’s true So true But every day that goes by You drift a little further from my mind From my mind Yeah, I found someone new and I heard that you did too Looks like we both made it through I found someone new and she’s nothing like you She ain’t a thing like you She’s just someone new
6.
The only thing you ever gave me was a second hand picture frame That you found on a doorstep down the lane So I filled it with a picture, a picture of you and me But I seem to have lost it in the move to Tennessee All them nights in Hollywood, smokin’ cigarettes and drinkin’ wine Watchin’ as the world passed me by But after all of the misery, I never felt so free As the night I decided to move to Tennessee The lights of the Boulevard, they led me from your memory And I finally found myself again in the lights of Tennessee The leaves they are a fallin’ like I fell so many times before As Autumn came, I knew I needed more Los Angeles lost its luster, a dirty city of broken dreams But I woke up from the nightmare when I moved to Tennessee The lights of the Boulevard, they led me from your memory And I finally found myself again in the lights of Tennessee I bet you never thought that I would move Because I was always such a lapdog to you It seems I might owe you a thank you and I know it might be hard to see When you broke me, you gave me the courage to move to Tennessee The lights of the Boulevard, they led me from your memory And I finally found myself again in the lights of Tennessee
7.
Lay down, my sweet love, I’ll sing you a melody About everything you mean to me You’re the only one to ever capture my heart You are the purest work of art I was so lost when you found me and you taught me how to love Dropped down like an angel from above The laughter you lead to my life is so dear Stripped away all of my fears You’re my favorite thing in the world Iridescent like a perfect pearl You’re my favorite thing I’ve ever had I never needed someone so bad You’re my favorite thing My senses they sharpen as our bodies unite Illuminates the darkness of the night The fondness I feel for you I could never hide I get the warmest feeling deep inside You’re my favorite thing I’ve ever seen Beauty like an early autumn tree You’re my favorite thing I’ve ever had I never needed someone so bad You’re my favorite thing Ooh baby, so glad we took this chance Ooh baby, let’s dance another dance Ooh baby, I knew at first glance We’d be together forever, you and I We’ve had so many good times and maybe a little bad I know sometimes you get sad But when you might feel blue, I’ll sing this lullaby Know I’ll never say goodbye You’re my favorite thing I’ve ever heard With the delicate grace of a mockingbird You’re my favorite thing I’ve ever had I never needed someone so bad You’re my favorite thing
8.
I can tell you everything that you wanna hear As you drown yourself another year Method of your madness, delusion of delight Drifting far away into the night How much longer can you go on this way? Crawl up in your bottle, drink your life away Girl, I ain’t your daddy, so who am I to say Keep on livin’ your lie, load your smokin’ gun Do your best to end up like your daddy done Walkin’ through your back roads, I can see it in your eyes Scorn for all the lies that you devise Watchin’ as your star burns out, in the sky above There’s only one thing left that you can love How many times must I bury you underground? Crawl up in your bottle, drink your life away Girl, I ain’t your daddy, so who am I to say Keep on livin’ your lie, load your smokin’ gun Do your best to end up like your daddy done The last time I saw you, you were unbelievable The next time I see you, will be your funeral Crawl up in your bottle, drink your life away Girl, I ain’t your daddy, so who am I to say Keep on livin’ your lie, load your smokin’ gun Do your best to end up like your daddy done
9.
You’re the prettiest thing I’ve ever seen And it ain’t your words, but what I hear in between You and me should hit the road, we’re bigger than this town Can’t let ‘em break us down This old white Trans Am will set us free Unlock our future with these silver keys Portland, Seattle town, or go out Denver way Maybe head down to LA I know there’s a whole new world for us to find If we could just get past that Butte County Line Don’t you worry, Patty, I’ll get some cash Got a cousin out in Gridley I can ask I got a garbage bag out back, it’s full of cassette tapes Soundtrack for our escape My cousin Steve, he said he’d help us out If I do this thing with him he’s talking about I swear to you once this is through, oh the stories we will tell And this whole town can go to hell I know one day our stars will align If we could just get past that Butte County Line That night out at Thompson Flats a double cross went down The cops showed up and beat us to the ground They said we was the ones who shot a man on Montgomery Street But I swear to you, it wasn’t me I swear, my love, it wasn’t me They say I’m gonna be here for a while At the end of May they’re putting me on trial There ain’t a thing about this life that seems a one bit fair Please wait for me out there I know there’s a whole new world for us to find If we could just get past that Butte County Line I know one day our stars will align If we could just get past that Butte County Line
10.
Drove on out from LA, just to give it one more chance Resurrect the place of our first dance Thought that that old mountain town would remind us what we had Inspired by the beauty of its land In that cabin up in Idyllwild, I realized you were a child Everything was play pretend, broken in a way I could not mend Idyllwild, California is a distant memory Idyllwild, I once adored ya, but I’ll never again see Your mountains or your trees Busted and beguiled in Idyllwild In the photos of that trip I don’t recognize my face I only see a once beloved place I wish that I could somehow say that I never did love you But that’s a fact of life I can’t undo That final night of ecstasy, drunk on wine and fantasy But in the bright morning light, we both knew we would never be right Idyllwild, California is a distant memory Idyllwild, I once adored ya, but I’ll never again see Your mountains or your trees Busted and beguiled in Idyllwild Idyllwild, I couldn’t bear to see you again Too many memories inside my head Idyllwild, how I miss you So much more than the goddamn girl who broke my heart in two The tragedy of our last kiss is somewhat circumspect Like the final stop before a big train wreck That old town it showed me what I shoulda seen long before Like that raven once said, “Nevermore” Drivin’ back to Los Angeles, our love dissolved into a mess Both our hearts cold as ice, two fallen angels crushed by the night Idyllwild, California is a distant memory Idyllwild, I once adored ya, but I’ll never again see Your mountains or your trees Busted and beguiled in Idyllwild
11.
When I first saw your smile, it reminded me for a while Of a girl I once met in a dream As if it were a prophecy, foretold about you and me And how we were meant to be But now I’m a broken record of better days gone past Hazy memories of a time that went by all too fast Pining for your love, praying to the lord above The love that I was given took away by all my sinnin’ Livin’ with the bad decisions that I made Drunk on Highway 99, I never ever shoulda tried To drive us home that night You yelled about my gambling debts, then nothing made a lick of sense Next thing I woke up to flashing lights Life ain’t been so easy since you’ve been gone Trying to raise these two kids up on my own Pining for your love, praying to the lord above The love that I was given took away by all my sinnin’ Livin’ with the bad decisions that I made They all said it was the good lord who took you away But that’s not true, it was me who went astray Now I walk the straight and narrow to honor your blessed name That smile you once had, our daughter she has the same Pining for your love, praying to the lord above The love that I was given took away by all my sinnin’ Livin’ with the bad decisions that I made
12.
With jet black hair and big brown eyes Such a sweetness beneath that hard-bitten disguise She does what she wants and she does it so well She’s got secrets, she’ll never tell Her scars will cut you deep like a knife The most beautiful thing you’ll ever see in this life She’ll break your heart with a single glance But you’ll always know right where she stands Across the ocean, across the sea Lives a small town girl from Tennessee The whole damn world is burning down And she’s across the sea in London town You knew her back when she was a girl And the powder disappeared up her nose with a twirl But now she’s a woman, so honest and true So fetching and foreign to you She flies like a falcon, her pretty wings spread She circles the globe while you’re stuck in your head Once in a blue moon she comes back through town With a passion so pure and unbound Across the ocean, across the sea Lives a small town girl from Tennessee The whole damn world is burning down And she’s across the sea in London town She’s got a freedom you so wish you had Some call it a death wish, but you know it ain’t that She'll love you in ways you ain't been loved before But she’s away on a far distant shore There’s something about her that stays when she’s gone Like a half remembered line from an old country song A mystical vision you can never quite grasp So you pray for her to come back Across the ocean, across the sea Lives a small town girl from Tennessee The whole damn world is burning down And she’s across the sea in London town
13.
I heard your callin’, soon I’d fallen I tumbled to the ground Gave up myself without a sound My life it shattered, it didn’t matter ‘Cause I loved you through and through I was so ashamed of what I let you do I fought all the reasons I knew it wasn’t right, every night It’s understood we can’t go on I can’t be your friend, it’s gone on too long It’s understood that everything dies We knew from the start, so it ain’t no surprise All the words we said came to an end It’s understood I’d think about ya, lost in nostalgia For a time that never was And kept on going, just because I thought I knew ya, was all illusion I made up in my mind Scared to death at what I’d find You’re just a stranger I lived with every day, so far away It’s understood we can’t go on I can’t be your friend, it’s gone on too long It’s understood that everything dies We knew from the start, so it ain’t no surprise All the words we said came to an end It’s understood No one wants to admit that the one they love is no good Broke my heart so many times, more than any person should Your love was so addictive, was in denial for so long Who knew that love was such a lonely place to be It’s understood we can’t go on I can’t be your friend, it’s gone on too long It’s understood that everything dies We knew from the start, so it ain’t no surprise All the words we said came to an end It’s understood
14.
I was born to an Irish man with a temper like the raging sand That blew across the seas of deep despair My mother was fourteen years old on the day that I was born Saddled with a burden she couldn’t bear In a northern California town, my father beat me up and down Till they sent me away to live with my aunt I roamed the hills of Idaho with a shotgun and a stiletto Two years later, they forced me to come back High school years in San Jose, relentless beatings everyday Till one day I came up with a plan I doctored up my paperwork and said, “Oh, please sign me up, sir” At seventeen I went to Vietnam But I don’t need your sympathy, I am everything that you are not I don’t need your sympathy and I damn sure don’t need a thing you got I came back from overseas and found a girl straight as can be Married, two children followed soon I earned my pay on the police force, my wife never understood, of course How every day was like an open wound I found myself going more and more down to the corner liquor store Seeking out the innocence I’d lost Her pastor tried to counsel us, but I never bought into that stuff Wasn’t sure I could stand to pay the cost Felt myself stuck in a cage, one night I lost it in a rage My kids they screamed, I don’t know what happened then Woke up in a pool of blood, a note said they were gone for good Never ever saw my kids again But I don’t need your sympathy, I am everything that you are not I don’t need your sympathy and I damn sure don’t need a thing you got First I lost my family and then they took my job from me Moved up north to the town of Oroville As a postman I made my rounds, I worked the roughest part of town At Playtown USA I’d get my pills Robbed one day of all my mail by a Mexican out for a thrill He cracked me with a Louisville slugger bat I never ever told no one, I was so ashamed at what was done My head was never quite right after that One night outside the Eagles Club, I spotted that ol’ Mexican Smashed his head in with everything I had Felt my whole past exhumed, I never wanted to sing that tune But here I stand with blood on my hands But I don’t need your sympathy, I am everything that you are not I don’t need your sympathy and I damn sure don’t need a thing you got With help from an old police friend, manslaughter’s what I got in the end Spent some years in the Susanville state pen After I finally got released, I found myself a sense of peace With a woman who didn’t care where I’d been We got a place up by the lake and cashed the checks she got from the state We’d watch TV and drink and drink and drink Till one day she wasn’t there, she passed away right in her chair I closed her eyes and tried not to think. But I wondered where my children were, with families of their own, I’m sure Probably never thought twice of their old man Now I’m up to sixty-five and the doctor says I’m soon to die How I wish I could show them who I am Please understand, I’m not the man I once was Please understand, I’m not the man I once was I’m not ready to go I see the devil’s come to take away his own Now I know, it’s my time to go

credits

released September 24, 2013

Songs written by Stewart Eastham * Long Bar Music (ASCAP)

Produced & Arranged by Burke Ericson
Engineered by Dave Pearson
Mixed & Mastered by Rich Mouser @ The Mouse House Studio, Los Angeles
Recorded @ Alcove Recorders, Los Angeles
Additional recording @ TreeHaus Recording, Los Angeles

Album design by Mandy Corcoran
Album photography by Katrena Rochell

Musicians

Stewart Eastham - vocals, acoustic & electric rhythm guitar
Burke Ericson - lead guitar, acoustic & electric rhythm guitar, piano, percussion, backing vocals

Ted Russell Kamp - acoustic & electric bass, acoustic guitar, mandolin, backing vocals
Neil Mejorado - drums
David Yuter - piano, organ, clavinet
John McClung - pedal steel, lap steel
Skyko Tavis - violin, viola
Dave Pearson - percussion, drums
Jennifer Gibbons - backing vocals
Shannon Browning - backing vocals
Ryan Ramos - backing vocals
Eddie Lopez - cowbell

Special Thanks
Cosmo Jones @ Bedrock LA

In memory of Gramma Mac (1920 - 2013)

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Stewart Eastham Nashville, Tennessee

Stewart Eastham takes his music in bold new directions with his third full length solo album "The Great Silence". This release takes on the metaphysical realm exploring grand themes of life, death, and rebirth. While not technically a “concept” album, it feels like one with its repeating themes and motifs.

Eastham is based in Nashville, TN and was born and raised in rural Northern California.
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